Some years ago there was some great software/photoshop plug-in call “Nik Software”. They had some of the best software for color treatment and for black & white conversion in the market.
A couple of years later, Google, in its quest for photography experience (Picasa, that was integrated with Google+, that was moved to Google Photos) bought Nik Software and bundled all the independent software into a suite (the Google Nik Collection) and started selling it for a fairly good price.
The discussion back then was, what will happen to the software itself? Google incorporated the plug-ins to their photo interface, when using Chrome, so you could do a lot of work in the web, but no update to the plug-ins actually happen (we’re still on Color Effects 4 and on Silver Effects 2). They just maintained it working in new platforms.
Last week Google announced that due to their focus in photo editing tools for mobile, like Google Photos and Snapseed, they decided to make the Nik Collection for Desktop free. They will even refund people that bought it in 2016.
Needless to say the amount of discussion that has caused, people in the internet like to complain, no matter why, but the main points are those.
– You can have the Nik Collection for free now. So if you don’t have it yet, or are using a pre-historical version of it, you can now have it for free and it’s 100% worth it.
– Very likely there will be upgrades to the tools. Nothing new, we had probably none since Nik was bought. The question is if Google will maintain the technical part (running on new systems) working, or if it will go to their “abandonware”, until they decide to stop distributing it.
For all scenarios we have no control, they are a private company, so all we can do is enjoy the tools for free while they still work. They are worth it!!
You can download the collection here.